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Talking Difference

Talking Difference
On Gender and Language

August 1995 | 224 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
"Talking Difference is a refreshingly critical (and reliable) look at our current wisdom about men's and women's language. Mary Crawford's straight talk offers a powerful antidote to clichés and muddled thinking on this subject and will give future language and gender researchers valuable food for thought. I thoroughly recommend it." --Deborah Cameron, University of Strathclyde "In contrast to articles and books that present women and men as so fundamentally different that they need translators to talk to each other, Talking Difference provides a lively, sophisticated review and analysis of talk that recognizes the interaction of gender, class, and race. Author Mary Crawford addresses power issues and real problems as she documents ways in which many social scientists have pathologized women's speech and as she suggests alternative approaches." --Cheris Kramarae, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign "The strength of this book is its review and critique of research on gender differences in language. For example, the author's discussion of the "two cultures" approach to male and female communication styles. . . .There is much of value in this book." --Angela Garcia in Contemporary Sociology From talk shows to self-help books, from popular psychology to gender-based jokes, research on the way men and women communicate has become a central focus of scholars. In this provocative volume, Mary Crawford critically evaluates the wide range of recent research on gender and language. She provides a new understanding of the role of language practices in both maintaining and disrupting gender inequality. She addresses such issues as why commonsense understandings about gender and talk have become so deeply entrenched; how academic practices constrain our understanding of how gender relations are re-created and maintained in language use; and why texts about gender and language have so little to say about indirect and potentially subversive modes of speech, such as spontaneous wit, humor, and storytelling. This lively volume will be essential reading for students and scholars in social psychology, women's studies, sociolinguistics, and interpersonal communication.

Talk across the Gender Gap
The Search for a Women's Language
The Assertiveness Bandwagon
Two Sexes, Two Cultures
On Conversational Humor
Toward a Feminist Theory of Gender and Communication

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